Closed circuit TV cameras are being installed in a move to try and quell rowdy and troublesome students in Belfast.

The surveillance equipment, to be erected in the Holylands area close to Queen's University, should be fully operational next month, according to City Hall.

Even though noise complaints have dropped dramatically since the introduction of street wardens last October, more than 170 incidents of anti-social behaviour were reported in the last three months of 2009.

The streets have effectively fallen silent since hundreds of students returned home for the Christmas and New Year break, but the CCTV is expected to be up and running not long after the start of the new term - and well in advance of St Patrick's Day when levels of drunkenness and street disorder are at their highest.

Queen's, the University of Ulster, St Mary's College and Belfast Metropolitan College have already warned of tough disciplinary action against students who step out of line.

There have been more than 200 noise complaints this year.

The six cameras will also be used to combat crime in the Holylands' 16 streets.

South Belfast SDLP councillor Pat McCarthy, who campaigned for several years for the installation of the equipment, said: ‘This is coming as a huge relief to the residents who are sick and tired of people getting away with anti-social behaviour.

‘The system should also make it safer for young women who have been the target of a number of attacks around the university.’

Outsiders have been blamed for causing some of the trouble, especially on St Patrick's Day, but the introduction of the city-wide scheme where wardens provide communities with a visible presence to help deal with anti-social behaviour as well as reducing crime and fear of crime, has clearly had an impact.

They work in conjunction with the PSNI.

However the introduction of the cameras should make it easier for the troublemakers to be identified, according to long suffering neighbours of the students.

Ray Farley, chairman of the Belfast Holyland Regeneration Association said: ‘Hopefully this will help calm the situation. Things haven't been quite as bad since the wardens arrived.

‘We are not pointing the finger at the students for causing all the trouble, but once people become aware of these cameras, then that should prove to be a big deterrent and good sense will prevail.’